This stylish psychological thriller from Claude Chabrol has such labyrinthine plotting that many critics called it too confusing. Christine Balling (Yvonne Furneaux) tries to convince Paul Wagner (Maurice Ronet) to sell his venerable champagne business to an American company. She asks her husband Chris (Anthony Perkins), who is also Wagner’s friend, to help her to persuade the stubborn Paul. While on a trip to Hamburg, Wagner picks up a German girl in a restaurant. The next morning, the girl turns up dead, and Paul can’t remember if it was he who killed her. Chris, who becomes aware of the incident, promptly tells his wife, and she tries to blackmail Wagner into signing a deal with Americans. Later, another woman turns up dead, and again Paul was the last person who saw her alive. He begins questioning his own sanity. —IMDb
Widely credited as the founding father of the French Nouvelle Vague movement, Claude Chabrol is responsible for a body of work that is as prolific as it is boldly defined. A master of the suspense thriller, Chabrol approaches his subjects with a cold, distanced objectivity that has led at least one critic to liken him to a compassionate but unsentimental god viewing the foibles and follies of his creations. Inherent in all of Chabrol’s thrillers is the observation of the clash between bourgeois value and barely-contained, oftentimes violent passion. This clash gives the director’s work a melodramatic quality that has allowed him to drift between the realm of the art film and that of popular entertainment.
Born in Paris on June 24, 1930, Chabrol was educated at the University of Paris, where he was a pharmacology student, and at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques. Following some military service, he developed an interest in the cinema and worked for a brief time in the publicity… read more